Modern commercial vans come in all shapes and sizes. They cater for virtually all our needs and wants, mostly without sparking our desire like say a new car would. They are a workhorse after all and are built to do a job, to carry heavy and bulky loads from A to B. They all are very similar in looks as they have to have some sort of storage compartment tagged on the rear end. That said, some of the top commercial light vehicle designers have made a big effort to make them look a bit more appealing by shaping and sculpting the bodywork into more streamlined versions of their predecessors.
After all not much can be done to change the overall basic shape as this would without a doubt cut into the cargo space dramatically. So how do they get around this? They basically stick to tweaking lights, mirrors, grilles and sculpting flowing cut out shapes over the front end and along the body of their vehicles to make theirs stand out a little more than the competition.
New vans are always being released.
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Not all the changes of course can be seen; some remain hidden in the depths of the vehicle itself. Engines are tweaked and changed so they are perkier around town and are better for the environment. Chassis and suspensions are tightened and strengthened to stop that wallowy roll on cornering, giving the driver a better ride while carrying their heavy payloads.
So which vans are making headlines at the moment?
The Nissan NV200 combines good looks with superb functionality. Not only does it drive exceptionally well, it’s quiet and refined on the road too. It has a high driver seat position for better all round visibility, a tight turning circle for better manoeuvrability and its compact body size makes it perfect for running about town.
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is a small van with big values. Ford really have thought about the design features on the Connect as it outshines many of its rivals. Not only is it more attractive on the outside but provides a higher level of comfort on the inside too, with the dash and controls being designed to look like those in a normal family car. The Connect comes with a range of TDCi engines, making it powerful, adaptable: a durable workhorse. Even the front passenger seat folds flat for even more storage, so you can get those awkward loads in too.
The NissanNV200 is one of the top vans at the moment.
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Mercedes Benz Sprinter
The new and improved Mercedes Benz Sprinter is an updated model that looks like all they have done is give the Sprinter bigger lights and grille, but that’s where you would be wrong. Mercedes have gone on to further improve the fuel economy and given it a more comfortable ride too. The sprinter also has a few new clever gadgets up its sleeve, one being the new Crosswind Assist System which comes as standard. This system uses the vehicle’s ESP system to apply the brakes and stop it from veering across lanes when the wind picks up and becomes strong gusts.
Basically the Sprinter is, and has always been, one of the best large vans on the market, top marks go to the Sprinter in most testing categories.
Image credits: didbygraham and Autoviva.com